When smartwatches first started appearing there was a serious lack of designer smartwatches and definitely a focus on substance over style. The emergence of a wristwatch that could tell you that someone was calling, or enable you to reply to a message without having to get your phone out of your pocket was the most important thing. Fortunately, the brands we know and love have caught on and started producing some sleek-looking designs. We take a look at two for women and two for men.
1. Kate Spade Scallop 2
This offering from Kate Spade is the first of its kind for the brand, with a touchscreen running on Google Wear OS. It has some features that make it a wonderful everyday watch and thanks to the interchangeable straps, you can customise it to match the occasion.
Those features include activity tracking, a heart rate monitor, contactless payments personal goal setting and even access to Google assistant. It’s voice-activated and you can pair it with either Android or Apple smartphones.
It also has the smart features you’d expect, such as notifications for calls, messages and other apps, as well as 4GB of storage for music. Scrolling through the menus is easy and responsive and the face itself offers 390 x 390-pixel resolution.
The battery life is a little disappointing; if you keep your notifications on you can expect to have to put this on charge every night.
- Sleek, feminine design
- Customisable watch straps
- Large screen
- Reasonably rugged given the lightweight design
- Works better with Android
- Disappointing battery life
- No GPS
2. Fossil Women’s Gen 6 smartwatch
As a strong smartwatch running Wear OS, the Fossil Gen 6 is already simpler to recommend than previous devices trapped with outdated software. For now, there isn’t enough to separate this watch from other leading smartwatches, such as Samsung’s Galaxy Watch 4 or TicWatch Pro 3, save from the new operating system upgrade. AMOLED display is one of the best, but the Gen 6’s one-day battery life prohibits us from recommending it above other longer-lasting wearables, even though you can recharge it to full in less than an hour. The Fossil Gen 6 is a good option for those who want a top watch that works with both iOS and Android.
The women’s version comes with a stainless steel case in rose gold with a band to match or a blush leather band. There’s also a stainless steel option that comes in black, with a matching mesh band. Bands are 22mm and interchangeable. The overall look is subtle but beautiful, and it’s waterproof to 3m so there’s no fear about wearing it whilst you shower or swim.
- Good battery life
- Subtle design
- Responsive and intuitive
- Speaker quality isn’t great
- No ECG function
3. Apple Watch x Hermes Series 7
It doesn’t get more fashionable and high end than an Apple Hermes collaboration. Designed with detail the sport bands provide the elegance that buyers are looking for all while keeping the Apple Watch Series 7 software. From sport bands to luxury business they offer it all in a variety of colors.
The watch itself however is one of the most desired and powerful watches on the market. With 33% faster charging then it’s predecessor and their biggest display ever, needing your phone is almost never a thing.
And with the ability to use things like calculator and text right from their touchscreen convenience has been upgraded. But typing doesn’t matter when you can’t see the screen which is why their Always-On Retina is visible during the day to make sure you aren’t squinting.
With unbelievable durability and so many workout modes you never have to fret about this watch keeping up with you.
- High-end option for Apple
- One of the best smartwatches on the market
- Compatible with the rest of your devices
- Expensive for the name ($1299)
4. Armani Exchange Connected Smartwatch
If you find this watch at this price, don’t think you’ve found a bargain by confusing it with the Emporio Armani Connected (typically over £350). While both operate on Wear OS and have some shared features, the design and hardware are different. Both are great looking, but the Armarni Exchange Connected is a smartwatch in disguise – you’d never know it wasn’t a dress watch.
This monster comes with an above-average case size, 48mm compared to the typical 42mm. You can choose between black, blue, gold or silver. The case matches the link strap and it has 22mm lugs. It has a 1.2-inch screen boasting 380 x 390 pixel resolution.
There are no surprises when it comes to features. The Connected offers activity tracking via GPS so you can enjoy an outdoor run without your phone weighing you own. You can go swimming as it’s waterproof to 50m deep. All your activity is captured via the heart rate monitor which talks to Google Fit. There’s also NFP for using Google Pay and it’s Android and iOS compatible.
Anyone who’s used a Wear OS device before will instantly be familiar with how The Connected operates, but the good thing is you can customise it to your style with multiple watch face options. It’ll show you the usual notifications like calls, text, email, social media and other apps.
There’s a fitness tracking element by taking advantage of Google Fit, whether you’re a runner or into yoga, the Connected can offer some valuable insights.
The official line is that the Connected will give you two days of battery life, but the reality is closer to 36 hours.
- Very high-quality look and feel
- Accurate heart rate monitor and GPS
- Contactless payment feature
- Disappointing battery life
- Chunky design, might not be to everyone’s taste
- Performance can sometimes be slow
5. Huawei Watch 3 Pro
The Huawei Watch 3 Pro has so much to offer in terms of a luxury smartwatch. For starters it lasts for 5 days without no issue while being able to monitor a number of health metrics that are useful to you. Temperature nowadays is a big deal after going through the pandemic and this watch can tell you yours at any time. Combined with heart rate and SPO2 you are set to go at all times.
Something that the watch offers that not many others do is the amazing ability to take photos. With remote shutter feature you can control your phones camera for beautiful pictures without having to run back and forth from the self timer.
With their own App Store you can download the very best apps to compliment your smartwatch. With music and fitness apps all in the library you can stay entertained and on top of your health 24/7.
This is a great watch for those looking for something different than mainstream.
- New option outside of big house names.
- Has great health metrics.
- Has it’s own App Store to provide what you would get on any other smartwatch.
- Not compatible with other devices because it’s not brand name like Apple.
6. Tag Heuer Connected Modular 45
The Tag Heuer Connected Modular 45 seems to be the luxury watchmaker’s latest attempt to design a stylish wristwatch that can also perform the same functions as other Android Wear devices.
This is a pricey but enticing alternative to the Huawei Watch 2, which delivers the same Android Wear 2.0 features, comes in an arguably more appealing box.
Smartwatches aren’t necessarily made with fashion in mind, but the Tag Heuer is. Is the luxury design and fashion brand, however, enough to entice you to spend significantly more than you would on other Android Wear devices?
The Tag Heuer Connected Modular 45 is a high-end timepiece that looks nice on the wrist, but it doesn’t come cheap.
- Excellent architecture
- The monitor is large and bright
- Price is extremely high
- No heart rate sensor
- There isn’t a rotating bezel or a crown
7. Louis Vuitton Tambour Horizon
This is not only a cutting-edge wearable, but also an endlessly customisable creative device that follows in the footsteps of Louis Vuitton’s lengthy tradition of personalisation, with advancements inside and out.
The Tambour Horizon’s one-of-a-kind case is available in a variety of materials and colours. Plus, like its analogue predecessors, it can be customised by switching out the adjustable bands. It also has a circular body that conceals the thick 12.6mm casing underneath. This makes it a little chunkier than the likes of the Skagen Falster 2, but it’s not obvious.
Due to a completely digital touch screen display, the Tambour Horizon’s watch face is built to be enchanting. More, it comes with a variety of content, including typical watch functionality and some Louis Vuitton extra features for all of those who love to travel.
- Unlike every other smartwatch, this one offers a true digital experience.
- Travel enthusiasts will appreciate the special features.
- The price, of course! Expect close to $1,500
8. Michael Kors Lexington Gen 5 Smartwatch
The Michael Kors Access Lexington Gen 5 is a huge step away from the brand’s first foray into the world of smartwatches and is the fashion house’s most refined smartwatch to date.
It looks fantastic, if a little opulent for some tastes, and it feels just as costly as it is.
Deep down, however, it’s essentially a Fossil Gen 5 with a unique look, making it a pricey proposition for someone who isn’t obsessed with wearing brand names on their wrist.
This build, made of stainless steel and driven by Google, includes not only text and email updates, but also contactless payments, heart-rate monitoring, swim-proof functionality, GPS and other features. If you want to change things up, there are interchangeable straps available.
The Michael Kors Access Lexington Gen 5 will be a fashionable addition to your wardrobe. Remember though, this is essentially a regular Wear OS smartwatch with a designer price tag attached.
- It looks fantastic
- Speaker built-in
- The style is truly unisex
- Strap adjustments are fiddly
- The speaker isn’t great for the price
9. Samsung Galaxy Watch 4
The Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 can be dressed up to look as sleek and stylish as the best of them. This is especially true when you pick the pink gold band. But the best part of this watch is that you are getting all the best software with a stylish smartwatch.
The Samsung Bioactive sensor can tell you everything you need to know regarding your health. From body fat to skeletal muscle they offer it all. And with workout competition modes you can challenge all your family and friends.
With it’s metal framing and ability to choose different faces and styles it offers a real high-end look. And because it functions on Google software you have access to the Google Play Store among all the other benefits.
- One of the most desired smartwatches on the market
- 21 sport modes with competition mode to challenge friends
- Sleek look while offering access to Google Software
- Non Apple compatible
- Not luxury brand
10. Diesel On Axial Smartwatch
The Diesel On Axial shares almost all of the same features as the Emporio Armani Smartwatch 3, including the 1.28-inch AMOLED display. It runs Wear OS and is equipped with a Snapdragon Wear 3100 processor, as well as a variety of fitness and wellness features.
Diesel opted for a stainless steel case with a ring on top, making it a little bulky but durable.
The products in Diesel’s collection come in a variety of finishes, and there are significant differences between them. You can choose from a variety of strap colours and material combinations.
The On Axial Smartwatch from Diesel is a little less costly than, say, Armani’s close rival.
The Diesel On Axial smartwatch presents a rugged and masculine style that will cater to those who want a timepiece that is stronger and more daring-looking than most. It’s a pretty traditional higher-end Wear OS smartwatch under the hood, but that isn’t a negative thing. However, it is pricey.
- Style that stands out
- Comfortable to wear
- Speaker built-in
- The battery life is still a little short
- Wear OS can be slow at times
- Not suitable for small wrists
The introduction of designer brands producing smartwatches has really upped the ante – long gone are the days of heavy, rubber-clad cases with silicon straps. But designer brands come at a premium price, so don’t let a price tag fool you into thinking it comes with all the bells and whistles. Be sure to check out the features!
Last Updated on December 12, 2022
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